The 2018 FCS Playoffs are here and we've got game-by-game wrap ups.
[divider]COMPARE: Any Two FCS Players | Any Two FCS Teams[divider]
North Dakota St. 52
Montana St. 10
Next up: No. 8 Colgate
Time/Date: Dec. 7 or Dec. 8 | TV: ESPN family
COMPARE: Colgate vs. NDSU
PREDICTIONS: What Did We Get Wrong in the 2nd Round?
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Lance Dunn, RB, NDSU — The senior almost scored on every touch in the first half. Four of Dunn's six carries went for touchdowns. By game's end, he finished with 127 yards on 11 carries and those four TDs.
OTHER STAT STANDOUTS:
Bruce Anderson RB, NDSU – 13 carries, 118 yards, 1 TD
Ty Brooks, RB, NDSU – 6 carries, 103 yards, 1 TD
Jabril Cox, LB, NDSU – 10 total tackles, .5 TFLs
Troy Andersen, QB, MSU – 124 yards passing, 24 carries, 129 yards, 1 TD
Brayden Konkol, SS, MSU – 10 tackles, 5 solo
NFL DRAFT: Top FCS Prospects For 2019
THE TURNING POINT
Really, it was when the NDSU offensive line stepped onto the field. After Montana State went up 3-0 early thanks to a 71-yard pass on the first play of the game, the Bison rushing attack took over the game. The numbers are gaudy. NDSU had three players over 100 yards on the ground. The Bison totaled 407 yards rushing with an average of 9.3 yards per attempt.
COACH RUMORS: FCS Carousel
The Bison came into this game the heaviest second-round favorites by those who predict scores or point spreads. While just about everyone in the universe predicted an NDSU win, some thought maybe the Bobcats could make it competitive into the second half. As a team that was built to stop the run and had a mobile QB that's been a weakness for the Bison to defend, there was some hope.
But there was no hope once the first quarter was halfway through.
The Bison showed they would dominate the line of scrimmage all game with the first two drives featuring the NDSU running backs sprinting through gaping holes. An early 3-0 deficit turned quickly into a 14-3 lead for the Bison, then a 21-3 lead after one quarter and a 38-3 lead at halftime.
MSU prides itself on being physical. It got a lesson in physicality today. The Bobcats are doing the right thing under head coach Jeff Choate. He's turning around the brand of football played in Bozeman built to win in the playoffs. The Bobcats will get there – as far as being back in the national picture. And today, they saw a firsthand image of what it takes to do so.
PREVIEW OF NEXT WEEK
After NDSU took control of the game, the Fargodome crowd eased up on the noise. But a pretty loud roar happened when the PA announcer told the Colgate-James Madison final. The nation wanted to see NDSU vs. JMU III. But Colgate hit a game-winning FG and will come to Fargo.
The No. 1 reason the crowd cheered is this: teams playing in the Fargodome for the first time tend to struggle. Big time. Only one team has come to the Fargodome and won in the playoffs, and that was JMU in 2016. Colgate's defense is among the best in the FCS. The Raiders are going to need to stiffen up their run defense even more and get their offensive balance playing at a higher level.
THE REST OF THE GAMES
Jacksonville State at No. 7 Maine
James Madison at No. 7 Colgate
Wofford at No. 4 Kennesaw State
Nicholls at No. 3 Eastern Washington
Northern Iowa at No. 6 UC Davis